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Muscat: Labour power plans credible and doable

A Nationalist government would raise electricity tariffs even further and endanger the livelihoods of Enemalta workers, PL leader Joseph Muscat said this evening.

Dr Muscat spoke about the PL's energy plans during a rally in Msida, saying the health benefits of removing dependence on heavy fuel oil made the plan worthwhile even without cost benefits factored in.

The PL’s plan would see both Delimara power stations converted to gas with private sector involvement. The party believed the plan would lead to average savings of 25 per cent on electricity bills and five per cent on the cost of water, Dr Muscat said.

Around 27,000 lower-income households would save 35 per cent on their bills, with 103,000 families saving 30 per cent, Dr Muscat said. Savings for more intensive electricity users will be much lower, scaling down gradually to two per cent.

Describing the plan as “concrete, realistic and credible,” Dr Muscat said he was convinced there was plenty of interest, “both locally and internationally”, from private sector investors in the plan. Those who thought otherwise “don’t understand the entrepreneurial spirit,” Dr Muscat said.

He warned Enemalta workers that their livelihoods were at stake under the present government. “Just as the Government turned on dockyard, Air Malta and Sea Malta workers, next time it will be their turn,” he said.

He said the PL plan would save some €187 million annually in generation costs. Reducing electricity and water bills would eat away €77 million of those savings. The remaining €110 million would be diverted towards paying off some of Enemalta’s debt of approximately €800 million.

Consumers would also receive some of the savings from water generation, he said. With local groundwater reserves being fast depleted or polluted, the remaining savings would be used to invest in water conservation infrastructure.

The plan also see the unsightly Delimara chimney knocked down and give residents there cleaner, healthier air to breathe, Dr Muscat said.

“Where are the other side’s energy proposals?” the PL leader charged. “Now they’re claiming that they were planning on doing what we’re proposing already. So why didn’t they do it, when they had so much time and so many chances?” he said as the crowd laughed and applauded.

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